"If it hurts, you're doing it wrong." and Other Breastfeeding Myths

"If you're doing it right, it won't hurt." is one of the worst lies about breastfeeding out there. It puts doubt into so many new mother's minds that they're not feeding their new baby properly, when it's simply not true. You and baby can both be doing your parts perfectly, but it's still going to hurt, maybe even a lot.

Now, my intention isn't to scare anyone. It's just the harsh reality of establishing a new breastfeeding relationship. But the benefits that both you and your baby will receive through nursing, far outweighs any of the pain or difficulties.

In the beginning weeks of breastfeeding, women may experience sore, tender or even cracked and bleeding nipples. Lanolin is a natural and safe ointment to help soothe sore and cracked nipples. It's okay for the baby to ingest so there's no need to wash it off before nursing. There are also soothing gel pads on the market that can help ease some of the pain.

If the pain persists for more than 2 weeks, there may be a problem, such as a shallow or improper latch. If the pain persists you may want to talk to a lactation consultant to see about resolving the problem. It's important that mother and baby both enjoy the breastfeeding relationship.

"If baby nurses more than every 2-4 hours, they must not be getting enough." if the baby continues to gain weight and has wet diapers regularly, then they're getting enough to eat. Breast milk is easier to digest than formula, so they're hungry more often. Cluster feeding is also common when babies are going through growth spurts or developmental leaps and will signal for your body to produce more milk.

"Babies should nurse 20 minutes on each breast." All babies and all breasts are different. Some babies are more effective at sucking than others and some women may have a faster flow than others. Block feeding is also a useful nursing practice where only one breast is offered every couple of hours.

"Breastfeeding is effective birth control." Breastfeeding can be up to 98% effective as birth control, up until you receive your first menstrual period. However, menstruation happens after ovulation occurs. Therefore, you can be ovulating without knowing it, and become pregnant before the first period comes. You're safer using an additional form of contraceptive such as condoms or the mini pill.

"Breastfed babies can't have a bottle." It's often a good idea not to give babies a bottle until 4-6 weeks of age when a good nursing relationship has been established. Giving a bottle too early could possibly cause nipple confusion. However, after those first few weeks most breastfed babies can easily take a bottle and also continue nursing. It's recommended to only use slow flow nipples so that babies don't get frustrated at the breast.

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About Coffee and Wine Mom

Maddi Casey is a muscle car driving, hard working mama who is obsessed with football and good beer. She has two beautiful baby girls and loving husband. Writing is a passion, hobby and sometimes career of hers at coffeeandwinemom.com. She is also passionate about animals, nature and entrepreneurship.
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